5 free agents the Cleveland Guardians should consider for Shane Bieber's vacant rotation spot

Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians
Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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3. Zach Davies

Should the Cleveland Guardians be looking for someone who started his fair share of games last year, perhaps Zach Davies could be an option. Davies made 18 starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2023. While granted, it was a rough go of things for Davies, as noted by his ERA of 7.00 and 1.664 WHIP, both worst marks of his career, it should be noted that his 7.9 strikeouts per nine was the second-best mark in his nine major league seasons.

Obviously, last year's performance is not all that encouraging, but he did prove to be quite serviceable the year before in Arizona, compiling a 4.09 ERA and 1.295 WHIP in 27 starts. It is not necessarily the best or most encouraging set of numbers from 2022, but they are not the worst either.

Even though Davies' performance this past spring (9.00 ERA and 1.929 WHIP in 14 innings) did not result in making the Opening Day roster of the Washington Nationals, he did manage to strike out 17 batters during that span. Clearly, major improvements would be needed in the ERA and WHIP departments, but perhaps there could be something worthwhile to work with here, considering Davies was able to increase his strikeout frequency. If things do not work out, the Guardians could always let him go and consider another option available to them.